Saturday, 16 November 2013

Our previous Prime Minister

has just resigned from parliament. I am not impressed.
He was re-elected just a few short weeks ago. He said he would stay even if he lost the election - something that was as certain as anything can ever be in politics.
All sorts of things are now being said about him. Some people are saying he "saved" as many as fifteen seats for the now opposition. Others say he was, and continued to be, a destabilising influence.
Perhaps he did save some seats, even the seats of those now on the shadow front beach, but the question has to be whether they should have been saved.
Perhaps he was a destabilising influence, but the question is whether that is because his colleagues allowed him to be.
It may have been better for the now Opposition to lose those seats. They could have begun afresh. The people who retained their seats were, like some now in government, career politicians. They have never been out into the "real" world. They need to go there.
As it is the Opposition looks tired. It is behaving as if it is still in government. It has control of the Senate and appears determined to block every piece of legislation it comes across. It is still claiming a mandate it did not, being a minority government, have last time. The method of voting for the Senate has given it control there.
Perhaps they are right to claim that the former Prime Minister was a destabilising influence. If they don't need to worry about him trying to get his old job back then they can concentrate on governing from opposition.
I am not sure any of this is going to do the country any good and, even now, the numbers for the next Senate are not finalised. The Australian Electoral Commission has had to do a most extraordinary thing and lodge an appeal to the High Court to overturn the declaration of results the AEC itself made in Western Australia. That was all to do with the closeness of the result, the recount, the missing votes.
All that can be said of the entire mess is that it is time the electoral system was reviewed and overhauled. It needs major changes. In the Senate we have people getting in on less than 2% of the overall vote because of the compulsory preference system and others getting almost a full quota and missing out. No, this is not democracy.
Nor is it democratic to abandon your electorate just because you are no longer than gang leader.

1 comment:

widdershins said...

Our electoral system is overdue as well, so is just about every other one on the planet. Most of them were designed either deliberately or by accident for world that hasn't existed for two hundred years or more ... and have glued, stapled, and otherwise attached, all sorts of amendments to them so that they at least have an appearance of functionality in the 21st century.